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Off Grid Wind Analysis and Wind Power Potential

Like sun or water, wind is a natural resource that many homeowners can use to increase the amount of available electricity without having to rely on the local power grid.

Similar to microhydro electric power, wind can be harnessed to run a turbine that generates electricity to power a generator. If there is a lot of wind at the height of the turbine, homeowners may be able to generate some or even all of the power they need to run the homestead. Turbines appropriate for residential use yield a power output ranging from 20-100 kilowatts.

Homesteaders must first determine if the property is suitable for a wind turbine. Experts recommend that homeowners have land of at least one acre. Buyers should confirm that the zoning of the area allows them to install and use a turbine. Wind turbines are often quite tall, simply because taller towers can gather wind at a higher speed. Regulations often specify that there must be at least 30 feet of clearance around the spinning blades of the turbine.

To get the best output, homeowners should plan to purchase a turbine that stands at least twice as high as the tallest nearby object. If there are existing wind energy systems in the area, people may be able to get data about common wind speeds at the proper height. Most systems need regular speeds of at least 9 miles per hour. Greater speeds can improve energy output.

Potential Soil Erosion

While wind is a resource to homesteaders in many ways, it can also pose a threat to soil and vegetation. Soil erosion is a natural part of the life cycle for almost any property. However, people who rely on a particular patch of land to grow crops or plants to support livestock need to understand how erosion could affect the property’s sustainability.

Areas with strong winds can shift the nutrient-rich topsoil that homeowners need to grow plants. Overgrazing or clearing land could make this problem worse. To prevent erosion, people should plan to keep at least 30 percent of the land occupied with ground cover. Professional farmers suggest tilling plant remains into the soil when homeowners are done with the crops for that season. This helps to preserve necessary moisture, which can make it harder for the wind to move the top layers.

One way to prevent this erosion however is to build greenhouses.

Analyzing Off Grid Properties Guide

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